With the ongoing pandemic, the government recommended canceling or postponing all (internal) events with a thousand or more guests in many countries – a necessary measure to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus. However, many faced a dilemma: How to cancel or postpone an event? If you’re having such issues, below is a step-by-step plan you can follow if you need to reschedule or postpone your event(s).
1) Contact Your Event Organizer
If you are working with an event planner, this is the best person to contact first. Your event planner will liaise with all the suppliers who can make your ceremony a successful day or evening on your behalf. Discuss how you would like to do this in the future, what is feasible, and whether your event will be relevant afterward. Provide new details that your event planner can start again with.
2) Inform Your Suppliers As Soon As Possible
If you don’t have an event planner who is in contact with your suppliers, it’s best to inform them as soon as possible of your changed plans. They will undoubtedly have many questions, so communication is vital. Your suppliers are professionals who can certainly help you (re) organize your event.
3) Have You Taken Out Event Insurance?
Force majeure situations are insurable, but if your contract excludes a pandemic, you cannot rely on it. So, make sure you read your contract carefully. Besides, the only insurance that can now cover the consequences of a coronavirus is cancellation insurance taken out in advance. The best thing to do is to contact your event insurer. He or she will determine whether compensation is available.
4) Discuss Your Options Under Your Contracts
It is essential to read your contracts with your event suppliers carefully. This way, you can check with them your options in terms of moving your event to a new date and what financial arrangements can be made. Pay particular attention to the force majeure cancellation clauses in your contract as these are the most relevant at this time.
5) Inform Your Guests of the Delay
Your guests were undoubtedly looking forward to your event. They will probably be disappointed, but they will still understand your decision. This is a force majeure that you cannot do anything about. Inform your guests by sending them an email or calling them personally, depending on the size and type of event you are organizing. You can also use social media to disseminate information quickly and effectively. Emphasize that postponing an event does not mean canceling it and that your event will be even better later!
6) Mourning is Allowed
Whether it’s a fantastic party or a professional event, putting off an event can always hurt a bit. Give yourself a chance to be sad and process your emotions. Prepare to have more time now to organize your event even more enthusiastically. Look at it as a challenge that can give you even more satisfaction.
7) Keep Your Audience Warm Thanks to ‘Spoilers’
An excellent alternative to do in the meantime is to post ‘spoilers’ (e.g., social media). Warm-up your prospective guests with mysterious photos or facts about what your event looks like, a photo of your catering company’s delicious food, the (new) location, or by lifting the veil on the theme of your event. Let go of your creative mind and think out of the box now while you can!
Until we get to a better situation, postponing, virtualizing, or canceling your events is the safest bet. Follow the practices above, and everything should be okay!